This is a rare opportunity to see how the glamorous English film stars of yesteryear lived. From Friday 8 to Sunday 17 June 2018, the Vivien Leigh Collection will take pride of place in Haynes Fine Art’s Cotswolds gallery in the heart of Broadway at Picton House, 42 High Street, Broadway WR12 7DT for all the festival visitors and locals to enjoy.
It is now 50 years since the death of the celebrated double Oscar and Tony Award winner, who shot to fame in her role as Scarlett O’Hara in the 1939 American epic ‘Gone With The Wind’, playing opposite Clark Gable (Rhett Butler). Haynes Fine Art – London & Cotswolds is furnishing a roomset, with pieces from the homes the British actress shared with her husband Sir Laurence Olivier. The decorative roomset provides an insight into the actress’s personal life showing her passion for interior design and modern British and colourful French paintings. Highlights include Les Anemones by Louis Valtat (1869-1952). Valtat knew and collaborated with artists such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. A John Klimo signed gouache and oil pastel on paper depicts Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier styled as the man and woman in Lautrec’s Divan Japonais poster design, which Klimo signed and inscribed ‘Happy Birthday Vivien Leigh’ for her 40th birthday. In her letter of gratitude, Leigh expressed her surprise that Klimo should know that it was her favourite Lautrec poster and suggested that she thought she and her husband should go to a fancy dress ball as the two characters.
Furniture includes an early 19th century backgammon and chess table, after a design by John Maclean; an 18th century Chippendale style chair, an 18th century fruitwood card table, a library armchair, a tapestry wing-back armchair (bought in Broadway), and a dressing table mirror, where Vivien Leigh would have sat putting on her make-up and brushing her hair for the day ahead or getting ready for a party. There is also a pair of Mannerist style theatrical torchères, a selection of 20th century paintings, rugs and objets d’art, as well as a hand towel bearing the embroidered initials V.L.O.
Art dealers to private collectors, interior designers and the trade, Haynes Fine Art – London & Cotswolds plans to keep the Vivien Leigh Collection to show for others to enjoy. Senior partner, Tony Haynes said, “The business has been in my family since my father started it in 1971. The Vivien Leigh Collection is not for sale. I think it should be kept together, rather than individual pieces disappearing to various parts of the world. My father bought 92 roomsets over the years; this is my first, which we are proud to share with visitors during the Broadway Arts Festival. I have been offered some serious money for some of the pieces, but my children, who have joined the business, can decide how it will be used in years to come.”